Pfizer had announced in January 2007 that it would shutter thecomplex, which includes 30 office, laboratory and manufacturingbuildings, by late this year. The company had numerouswalk-throughs with potential buyers, including UofM and Forest CityEnterprises Inc. The university will now take over the ghosttown of a property, and expects to close by June after duediligence and compliance with state and regulatory compliance. Therecent deal includes $12 million from the university to clean upany potential environmental problems.

University officials said in statements that they will usebuildings currently on the property. "We have been building andrenovating across our campus to meet the need (for health researchfacilities), but we have struggled to keep pace with the incredibleproductivity of our faculty and staff," says Dr. Robert Kelch, theuniversity's EVP for medical affairs and CEO of the UofM HealthSystem, in a statement. "This new space presents and unprecedentedopportunity to fulfill their needs now and in the future, torecruit new faculty and their teams to our institution, and todevelop our region's power as a magnet for high-skill workers."

The UofM Medical School dean, Dr. James Woolliscroft, willpreside over a committee in 2009 to determine how to best integrateexisting and newly arriving researchers whose interest arecomplimentary to how the university will use the space. "We willnot rush to fill the space," he said in a statement. Though thelaboratories left by Pfizer are nearly in the configuration andcondition needed, he said, some renovations will be needed.

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